By Elizabeth Chukwuma
After several attempts by Sambo Dasuki, a retired Army Colonel and Omoyele Sowore’s Lawyers to secure administrative bail for the duo failed, as faith appear to have smiled on their path as on Tuesday , December 24, 2019, they were released by Presidential fiat.
Dasuki, who was a retired Army Colonel, was a power broker and former National Security Adviser to erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan administration, while Sowore was a Journalist and Publisher of the NewYork, United States based Online platform, Sahara Reporters and who incidentally was the Presidential Candidate of African Action Congress, AAC, in the last February Presidential election, won by President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General,and then Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and minister of Justice, broke the cheery news about the Presidential order for their release and which the Department of State Security, DSS, which is under the close watch of Magaji Yusuf Bichi, was said to have carried without delay., thus making possible for the duo to join members of their families to celebrate this Christmas period, particular, Sowore , who is a Christian .
Note that Dasuki, has been in the custody of the DSS, since December 29, 2015, on the orders of the Katsina state born Nigerian President over alleged diversion of $2.1 billion arms funds while Sowore had played into the hands of the DSS operatives and Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, on August 3, 2019, on for allegedly Convening the Democracy Now protest , which could have turned the heart of the people against the President if it had succeed.
The DSS , which has the backing of the President and the AGF,had charged Sowore, the Politician to Court alongside Adewale Bakare, his Collaborator, on a 16 counts bordering on’’ treason,able felony and money laundering amongst others’’ but were said to have been granted administrative bail on the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.
Many had expected the DSS, which is an agency under the ministry of Justice, to comply with the Court order but it never did, an indication that the government may have ulterior motive for disobeying the Court orders. The DSS, may have further demonstrated their disrespect for the Court orders when they allegedly created a scene at the Abuja High Court premises on December 5, 2019, when operatives re-arrested Sowore, who was granted bail but left Adewale, his Collaborator in the Revolution Now Protest untouched. He was said to have been returned to the agency custody, on December 5, 2019. Perhaps, the DSS operatives may have seen him as a security risk and therefor, the need to keep him under a close watch before he creates more havoc in the system.
Lawyers may not have found the continued detention of Dasuki and Sowore, funny, going by repeated Court pronouncements for their release. One of such Court’s ruling was that of July 14, 2019, by an Appeal Court In Abuja, barely two months after the Katsina state born politician, was sworn in by Walter Onnoghen, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, fora second term in office. He may have seen it as an opportunity to prove that he is a true Democrat who obeys Court orders in order to win back the heart of the people.
The Appeal Court ruling declaring the continued detention of the duo as ‘illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional’’ may have sent a signal to the Daura born politician to act.It was not surprising why he ordered the government legal team Headed by the AGF, to look into the legal books in order to prepare the ground to facilitate release Dasuki and Sowore, still in DSS Custody.
Malami may have kept the Presidential directive a closely guided secret but was said to be in touch with Bichi, the DSS boss, to conclude the arrangement for their release from detention. The release of the of the duo by the DSS, on last Tuesday, appear to have thrown the pro-democracy group in the country into wild jubiliation.
An appreciative Sowore had thanked Nigerians for prevailing on Buhari to release him. Still talking tough while exchanging pleasantries with a group of Youths from Abuja, the FCT, he had declared, ‘’nobody can take the people who are deserving t for their children and more generations for granted basic things of life, pleading with the people not to relent in the struggle for a better Nigeria.
An elated Femi Falana, a SAN, and Sowore’s Lawyer, had told those that cares to listen that ‘’since the Buhari administration has embraced the rule of law, ‘’there is the need for the government to ensure that valid and subsisting orders of the Courts are obeyed in accordance with section 287 of the Constitution’’ .
This may have informed why he called for the release of Ibraheem Elzakyzaky, the leader of the Iran Islamic government sponsored Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN and his wife Zeinat as well as others described as political detainees and suspects still in detention.
Falana wants the AGF to liaise with the Kaduna state government to work out an arrangement on how to settle the N50million reparation which a Federal High Court sitting in kduna, had awarded to the duo to provide them with a temporary accommodation since the Army had destroyed their family House in Zaria after a clash with the sect.
In a related development Former President Jonathan, the the Bayelsa state born politician, who ought to be happy over the release of Dasuki, his former NSA, who had been in detention since 2015, may have been thrown him into confusion as gunmen, stormed the Otuoke waterside, about 100 meters away from his country home to snatch a military gunboat stationed at the waterside he form to guide the former President’. The gunmen were said to have arrived in five speed boats armed to the teeth. Both for the stiff resistance put up by the soldiers on guard of the gunboat, the gunmen could have gained entry into the former m President’s house which could have caused a big embarrassment to the government battling to redeem its international image about the security of life and property in the county. One soldier was said to have been killed in the cross- fire and another one seriously injured. Eyewitness account said the gunmen that stormed the Otuoke waterside,also kidnapped some people, who were yet to be found. An aggrieved Buhari was said to have called the ex-President to express his sadness over the tragic the former President over the tragic and unfortunate attack, promising that the protection of the former leader and every Nigerian living here and in the Diaspora, would continue to be the major preoccupation of his government. That much was by confirmed Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant The President on Media and Publicity.
Security watchers believe that the gunmen could be PDP thugs, who had not been happy that the former President allegedly played a key role in the emergence of David Lyon, the APC, governorship Candidate, in the last November governorship election in the state
The former President was said to have thrown his weight behind the APC Candidate because of the news making the rounds that Seriake Dickson, the state governor overbearing influence on the party without consulting the elders was telling on the party .
He was said to have imposed Douye Diri, a Senator of Fede\ral republic of Nigerian as the party governorship Candidate in the election with the intention to take over from him in the Senate through a bye-election if he had won.
The president may want to use the Otuoke attack to prove a point that nobody can take the law into his hand and go unpunished. Already Kola Ologboniyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, at the instance of the party National Working Committee, NWC, Headed by Uce Secondus has asked the government to mobilise its network of security agencies to track down and apprehend the gunmen who attacked the former President’s village waterside with the intention to get at him.
The party has described as disturbing the attack on the waterside close to the former’s President’s House as extremely disturbing, urging the President to carry out an extensive investigation into the incident to get to the root of the matter.
Giving the attack on the Otuoke waterside , preparatory hady to launching an attack on the former President’s country home, the party fears that the t life and safety of the former of the ex-President , who ruled the country for over six years and members of his family could not no longer be guaranteed.